Thursday, October 16, 2008
One thing is for certain this National League postseason, you can't blame the Dodgers loss on Manny Ramirez. Manny who seemingly everybody thought was on the decline is obviously still one of the elite hitters in all of baseball and this was never more evident than in this postseason.
Manny stepped up to the plate 36 times in 8 games. He reached base in 24 of those 36 plate appearances which is essentially a high quality softball player's on base percentage. In all 8 games Manny recorded at least 1 hit and in 5 of the 8 he recorded 2. In 7 of the 8 games Ramirez recorded and RBI and only in the 3-1 clincher against the Cubs when Manny scored 1 run and was walked two times did he not. Ramirez finished the postseason with an unimaginable OPS of 1.747. Ever stat you can look at shows Ramirez's excellence. Without him the Dodgers might not have made the postseason and certainly would not have challenged in many of their postseason games. Even on the losing squad he deserved some of the MVP recognition.
For Red Sox fans lingering on the edge of defeat with an offense that's sputtering the questions of what might have been have to creep into the mind. Sure Jason Bay has had a terrific Postseason as well with 3 home runs and a .406 average. But he's not the protection for Big Papi that gave them the best 1-2 punch in the game, he's not the feared hitter that Ramirez is and his 9 RBI have come in 3 of the Sox 8 games. He's just not the player Ramirez is. Headache or not, Ramirez helped the Sox win two World Series with his bat and his presence and his absence can not be understated.
For Dodgers fans you have to wonder what Manny will be like if they give him a 4 year deal. Will he go in the tank and stop hustling? Or is it true that he's just happier now and more comfortable out of the Boston unscrutinizing media and fanbase. Is their anyway with the October results that the Dodgers organization could not sign him? And if they don't will you revolt as a fanbase? For the past 4 months their has been one thing you can count on as a Dodgers fan, Manny Ramirez. What is the price you will pay to hold onto that?
Whether Manny always felt suffocated in Boston or whether he's just motivated for the next contract, whatever the case may be the man can still rake. And in October 2008 it is obvious perhaps more than ever that Manny Ramirez is one of the greatest hitters in baseball history.